Sounders FC has the second-best road record in Major League Soccer over the last five years. That has included streak-snapping wins against the Columbus Crew in 2009 and Real Salt Lake in 2011, ending a 22-match home unbeaten streak for Columbus and a 29-match home unbeaten streak for RSL. Seattle also handed Sporting Kansas City its first defeat at Sporting Park with a 2-1 win in 2011 and became the second team in MLS history to win in Mexico with a 1-0 win over Monterrey in the 2011/2012 CONCACAF Champions League.
However, the club’s record away from CenturyLink Field in 2013 was below the standard set by the first four years. In 2014, Seattle will look to regain the form of earlier seasons with the first road match of the season on Saturday against the Montreal Impact.
“It comes and goes. Everything comes in ebbs and flows and last year wasn’t maybe our best year on the road, but in general we’ve always been a good road team,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said.
This particular trip will provide a few challenges for Sounders FC. For one, the trip will be among the longest Seattle will fly this season, with four trips on the schedule over 4,600 miles round-trip. Add to that a connecting flight and the international travel and the team is looking at a full travel day into a city expecting snow when the team arrives on Thursday evening.
“Going on the road by itself is the normalcy of our existence. We have to do that all the time. This one is going to be a little bit different with the snow in Montreal,” Schmid said. “It makes for a long, long travel day.”
Once the players arrives in Montreal, they are scheduled to train indoors ahead of the Saturday match with the Impact. And while the longer road trip will mean some long travel days, it will also set up for the team to spend more time together and build more of the cohesion Schmid is looking for.
“Travel sometimes is good because the guys get together and have meals together and hang out,” Schmid said. “Sometimes that’s a very good thing.”
Seattle is 29-28-24 all-time on the road, but was just 5-10-2 last season. The 111 points earned by Sounders FC away from home since 2009 is second only to the 117 of the LA Galaxy. In 2011, Seattle was just the 10th team in MLS history to record nine road wins in a season, going 9-3-5 for the best record away from home in club history.
Kickoff for Saturday’s road contest at Olympic Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT on Q13 FOX.